Numbered among the well-to-do ranchers of the Hilmar Colony, Merced County, John Nordstrom has met with truly remarkable success, due to his habits of unremitting industry, thrift, and good management. Born in Sweden, on September 1, 1875, he is the eldest of nine children born to his parents, P. A. and Sophia Nordstrom, who never left their old estate in Sweden, the father still living there, and the mother having passed away on March 4, 1925. The owners of a fine farm in the old country, the parents were able to give their children good educations, and John Nordstrom was educated and confirmed in the Lutheran Church, and finished with a course in business college in Stockholm. On completing his schooling, John was apprenticed to learn the machinist trade, and for five years worked in a general machine shop in the manufacture of turbines and all kinds of engines. The lure of "Westward Ho 1" finally had its effect on him, and embarking at Gottenburg, on the ship Mayflower of the Old Dominion Line, he landed in Boston, Mass., in May, 1903. A few days later, May 19, found him stepping off the train at Chicago, where he secured employment in the firm of Pettibone & Millikin, a railway supply company, for whom he worked eight years.
In Chicago, in 1907, Mr. Nordstrom's first marriage occurred, uniting him with Miss Vorborg Bergersen, a native of Norway, and three children were born to them: Morris; Carl Roald; and John Vernon, who has been adopted into the family of his aunt, Mrs. Leonard F. Johnston. In 1911, Mr. Nordstrom enjoyed a six-months tour of Europe, with his wife and eldest son, visiting Norway, Sweden and England; and on May 13, 1921, occurred the death of the wife and mother.
The family had come to California and settled in the Hilmar Colony, in 1912, and, starting with a working capital of only $800, Mr. Nordstrom is now the owner of fifty acres of productive land, twenty acres in the home ranch, and thirty acres one-half mile north of there. He keeps the property in excellent condition and carries on a general /nixed farming, raising alfalfa, corn, beans, grapes, and has four acres of peaches; and in addition operates an eight-cow dairy. That he has met with such results in a comparatively short length of time shows him to be a man of sturdy character, willing to work hard and take advantage of the opportunities so abundant in California and Merced County.
In December, 1923, Mr. Nordstrom married a second time, to Mrs. Freida Lind, widow of John Lind, late of Chicago; she is the mother of three children by her first husband: Clarence, Siegwald, and Lester.
History of Merced County California With a
Biographical Review OF The Leading Men and Woman of the County Who Have Been
Identified with Its Growth and Development from Early Days to the Present
Author: John Outcalt (1925)
John Nordstrom, page 755
Contributed by: Carol Lackey